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The First Million: American India Foundation Launches Its Vaccination Campaign to Inoculate One Million Vulnerable Population


NEW DELHI–()–The American India Foundation (AIF) announced the launch of its vaccination campaign, The First Million, an effort to ensure vaccination for a million of the most vulnerable and marginalized Indians. Working with NGOs, corporations, and other stakeholders, AIF has identified persons with disabilities, migrant laborers along with street vendors, sex workers, tribal populations and women working in the unorganized sector, as the most vulnerable groups in need of intervention.

“With the expansion of vaccination eligibility to 18 years and above, the demand for vaccines will soon outstrip supply, given India’s population load, leaving the most vulnerable groups at the margins. A strategy to secure priority access of vaccines for the vulnerable groups is imperative, to arrest the spread of the virus,” said Mathew Joseph, India Country Director, AIF.

The First Million campaign is the next step in AIF’s mobilization in face of the COVID-19 wave that has so affected India. Already AIF has raised $30 million to procure oxygen concentrators, ventilators, portable hospitals, and building oxygen plants across the nation. This campaign will combat lack of awareness, access, and affordability as immediate impediments to vaccinating the vulnerable. AIF is forging strategic relationships with key partners, devising national awareness drives and behavior change campaigns under The First Million

program.

“Vaccination is the only long-term solution to the current crisis. From our experience of working with frontline workers, communities, government and public healthcare experts, we formulated a plan to prioritize a million most vulnerable people of the population, until vaccine drives cover a critical mass, an only line of defense against the resurgent COVID wave and strengthen the public health ecosystem for future COVID related emergencies,” said Nishant Pandey, CEO, American India Foundation.

“Mitigating misinformation around vaccination is the first step towards countering vaccine diffidence. Creating training modules for frontline workers to counter myths around vaccination is almost as important as providing access to the vaccine itself,” recapitulated Nishant.

ABOUT AIF RELIEF INTERVENTIONS

AIF has so far provided 5,000 oxygen concentrators, 2,600 hospital beds across 35 cities, Oxygen plants across 45 cities of India and 30,000 non-electric ventilators to help abate the health infrastructure shortages.



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